Return to Transcripts main page

CUOMO PRIME TIME

Trump Falsely Claims "Total Exoneration" By Mueller; Jared Kushner Interviewed By Senate Intel Russia Probe; WOW Air Abruptly Shuts Down, Stranding Thousands. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired March 28, 2019 - 21:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[21:00:00] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR, ANDERSON COOPER 360: We certainly all appreciate their time and their - their time and their opinions.

News continues. Want to hand it over to Chris for CUOMO PRIME TIME. Chris?

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR, CUOMO PRIME TIME: Thank you, Anderson. I am Chris Cuomo and welcome to PRIME TIME.

As the Trump folks celebrate not being felons, word that 300-plus pages of findings from Mueller may soon be released should chill the mood.

You don't have to be a criminal to be exposed as having done things that were wrong and lied about the same. Not a felony. But will the American people think it's all fine when the full story comes out?

Tonight, a Senate Judiciary member who's fighting to take on President Trump in 2020.

Speaking of people who were indicted but no in the - who weren't indicted but are not in the clear, Jared Kushner was called back by Senators today. Wonder what they were curious about.

Our guest says she knows plenty of reasons why. The Author of the bestseller, Kushner, Inc. is here, and she has a new scoop.

Plus, we're going to take a look at the real crisis at the Border. We're going to expose a deception that should matter every bit as much as anything that Mueller was looking into.

What do you say? Let's get after it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TEXT: CUOMO PRIME TIME.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: President is jubilant tonight, whipping up a crowd of supporters at a MAGA rally moments ago in Michigan. You can imagine what he did right off the top.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD J. TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The Russia hoax is finally dead.

(CROWD CHEERING)

TRUMP: The collusion delusion is over.

(CROWD CHEERING)

TRUMP: Total exoneration, complete vindication.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: Just because it rhymes doesn't make it true. In fact, we know it isn't. He won't be prosecuted for helping the Russians. That's it.

Four pages from his Attorney General's summary of a report didn't clear this President or those around him from all wrongdoing and material deceptions. That was about criminality.

It's not the only standard of behavior. The proof is in the proffer.

We now know Mueller wrote up more than 300 pages of findings. If POTUS and pals are so in the clear, why are they dragging their feet in letting the facts come out? Democrats are getting tired of asking that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NANCY PELOSI, SPEAKER OF THE UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: Mr. Attorney General, we do not need your interpretation. Show us the - show us the report. And we can draw our own conclusions. We don't need you interpreting for us. It was condescending. It was arrogant. And it wasn't the right thing to do.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: President says the same about disclosure. He says I want it all to come out, leaves it up to the A.G. We'll see what happens.

With me now, another prominent Democrat, Senate Judiciary Committee Member, and Presidential Candidate, Amy Klobuchar.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TEXT: ONE ON ONE.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: Welcome to PRIME TIME, Senator.

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR, (D) MINNESOTA, JUDICIARY COMMITTEE, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you, Chris. It's great to be on.

CUOMO: All right, good luck to you in the races ahead. I wish that to all the people who are seeking the nomination. I wish it to you as well.

KLOBUCHAR: Thank you.

CUOMO: All right, so let's do a little lawyer - little lawyering here.

What is wrong with the Trump team's and the GOP's majority feeling that "Look, they did the probe. They found no criminality with respect to Russian interference and any conspiracy with the President or anyone around him. That's it. None of us will ever vote with you on anything political against the President, so impeachment is a waste of time. Move on."

Your counter?

KLOBUCHAR: My counter is that 420 to zero, the House of Representatives voted that this report should be public. And I think, as we go into the coming years, we want to make sure our election and our democracy are protected.

There must be tons of stuff in that report you can tell from the four- page letter that there is, on what Russia did.

And we have to make decisions about backup paper ballots, about auditing our elections, about what kind of things that social media should do when they get paid ads in terms of telling us what they are, and who's paying for them.

So, I think there's some serious security issues. But I also think, as you've seen this week, we can do two things at once.

And when the President, right after the Attorney General issues his four pages, when his Justice Department says, "They're going to get rid of the Affordable Care Act," I think people looked up, and they said, "You know, no matter where we are on the Mueller investigation, the one thing we do know for sure is we don't want anyone to take our healthcare away, and we don't want to be kicked off our insurance for a pre-existing condition."

So, for me, we have to do two things at once. Safeguard our democracy. Get that report, so we can read it and figure out what's in it. But then also focus on an optimistic economic agenda for this country.

CUOMO: So, you have time on the ACA.

If they go the route of fighting it in court, either it winds up the way it has before, which is at the appellate level, they say "Well we've got two cases at the Supreme Court level, you lose." This District Court Judge said what he said doesn't hold water, or if it surprisingly goes the other way, and goes to SCOTUS, you got time.

There is an exigent circumstance going on right now, and I hear none of you talking about it. The President talked about it in the rally tonight. But he talked about it, in my opinion, the wrong way. The Brown Menace is not the problem at the Border.

[21:05:00] It's kids and family units. The people who are in charge are overwhelmed. They're crying for help. I hear none of you talking about it. Am I missing the reality or you guys asleep at the switch?

KLOBUCHAR: No. I think we would love to see, first of all, comprehensive immigration reform, and doing something, so we have security at the Border, but we also work with those countries in Central America, and we change that policy in terms of making sure that those families are safe, and held together.

So, I think you've seen us focus on this. But our problem is every time we try to move on a sensible policy, the President uses that as a wedge. So, I like to think about immigration reform as an economic issue.

And nearly 70 of our Fortune 500 companies are headed up by immigrants, 25 percent of our--

CUOMO: Right.

KLOBUCHAR: --U.S. Nobel laureates, born in other countries. And that bill we passed, that would have brought the debt down by a $158 billion, and it would have given a path to citizenship to people.

CUOMO: Right.

KLOBUCHAR: So, I - I think you have to see it as a comprehensive plan, and that's what the American people wanted years ago. And once you have a President in place that talks about it in terms of not just the Border but also economics, we're going to have the people with us.

CUOMO: All right. Here's the problem.

I hear you on the long view. And also we're going to argue - we're going to argue that same perspective about your infrastructure plan, which I think is really ambitious. I'll get to it in a second.

But you have an emergency right now.

KLOBUCHAR: Good.

CUOMO: And as somebody who wants to be the clarion call in this country, the leader of this country, they need help now. They literally, metaphorically have their back against a wall.

They don't have the resources. The case agents, they're doing catch and release like they've never - never done it before, Senator. The stories I'm hearing from the people in charge, I can't even believe them.

We sent a reporter down there, Ed Lavandera because I can't believe what they're telling me, and I was just there a few weeks ago. Isn't there something that can be done now to give the men and the women keeping us safe more?

KLOBUCHAR: Well, of course, we just put aside over $1 billion for security at the Border. But the problem is, of course, the President doesn't want to work with us on some sensible ideas. Instead, he wants to put all that money into the wall. And then, instead of using that money for projects, for military

projects, and for helping the personnel that you're talking about, he just wants to build that wall, and keep using it as a rally at his campaign rallies, and it's a chant back and forth with his supporters.

And I just don't think it's a way to govern. And I'm not surprised. I think it's horrible that not just the workers, but the families involved in this have to have this on their backs.

And I think the way you solve it is by putting someone, I have a law enforcement background, I understand the challenges they face, but put people in place and an Administration in place that doesn't govern by chaos. And that's what they've been doing.

So, when you have legitimate needs of people and workers at the Border, you meet those needs. But you don't meet them by building, by spending $8 billion on a wall.

CUOMO: So, and then look, I'm bringing it up because I see opportunity there for leadership, not because you particularly are responsible for it, obviously, although you have to do - have a very interesting and diverse issue of your own up in Minnesota.

So, you're trying to figure out how to make your mark, distinguish yourself from the field, as you should, at this point in the process, and you put out first a comprehensive infrastructure plan.

There's some ambitious proposals in there. You also go into how you think you can get it done. Here's my question to you. Nobody wins because they're for infrastructure. Nobody goes and pulls the lever because of infrastructure--

KLOBUCHAR: Yes.

CUOMO: --although we always need it. I've lived through generations of Cuomos fighting for infrastructure and never being rewarded for it. But here's the thing, Senator.

Why do you lead with that? And how do you get it done when you know you're facing a culture of opposition day one if you get in?

KLOBUCHAR: I lead with this because it is a bread-and-butter issue. It means jobs. But it also means getting ourselves out of traffic jams, and getting our goods to market.

And, of course, as you know, at my Snow Globe announcement, I talked about healthcare. I talked about workforce training and immigration reform, and so many of the challenges, our place in the world that we face right now.

But I chose to announce my candidacy in front of that Mississippi River a mile away from them - that bridge collapse in the middle of the river on a beautiful summer day, a mile from my house. 13 people died. And the world was focused on our State that day.

What did we do? Well I got the money, across the aisle, got the money to rebuild that bridge in a little over a year.

But there are more bridges like that, as you know. There are subway systems. There are rural roads, rural broadband. Iceland is completely outfitted in rural broadband and the United States of America isn't.

So, I see this not just as some old-fashioned infrastructure plan, but as a way to move our country forward, to export our goods to the world, but also to make sure that we are reaching people.

Our schools, the schools in Baltimore, this past winter, some of them didn't even have heat.

CUOMO: That's right.

KLOBUCHAR: So, if you ask to people vote on it, they vote on the economy, they vote for the future of their families, and they vote when they want to have a country they're proud of.

[21:10:00] And this President has been promising infrastructure on the campaign trail from the day that he started running to the day he got elected to now, and he hasn't delivered.

CUOMO: And a little bit of a nod to "Easy to say, hard to do," but it certainly is a proper ambition.

Quick thing before I let you go. Very early--

KLOBUCHAR: Sure.

CUOMO: --so early that if I had any shame, I'd be embarrassed to ask.

But in the polling, right now, your relative position is not great. As people are deciding who to back, who's worth paying attention to, what do you say to them about why to give Klobuchar a nod even though she's in the low-single digits?

KLOBUCHAR: Well, first of all, there was a poll today in Iowa, where I was in the top five, six, seven. I mean there is a - there is a group of us that are kind of in the same range, and clearly have registered with voters, but it is early.

And let me give you why I want to be President. As I've said, I am tired of governing from chaos. I want to govern from opportunity.

I'm from the heartland. I'm someone that likes to get things done. I have a very strong record in the United States Senate for passing bills, for working across the aisle. And some people may think that's out of vogue to actually get things done for this country. I don't.

And I also am able to win in hard areas, where maybe it's not comfortable to go, and it can be uncomfortable. But I have three times now won every Congressional district in my state, including the one formerly held by Michele Bachmann.

So, I think we need someone that can bring people together, find that common ground, get things done and go to a higher plane in our politics.

CUOMO: And you didn't even get froze-face in sub-zero temperatures during that announcement, very, very impressive.

KLOBUCHAR: Oh. But I did get to see myself grow old in 20 minutes as the snow mounted on my hair.

CUOMO: Hey, just wait until the end of this campaign. And let's see how you feel about yourself then.

As I offer all the candidates--

KLOBUCHAR: Thank you for that good advice.

CUOMO: --after I offer all the candidates--

KLOBUCHAR: I'm ready.

CUOMO: --we will chase you as appropriate. But please, see this show as a forum when you can come on and be tested about what matters to the people as the campaign goes on.

We make that offer to all of you, and certainly to you, Senator Amy Klobuchar, thank you.

KLOBUCHAR: Very good.

CUOMO: All right.

KLOBUCHAR: Thank you very much, Chris.

CUOMO: All right, be well.

You saw the Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee right here on this program last night, Adam Schiff firing back at the Republicans.

Since then, he got this infusion of emotion and opportunity. He was face-to-face with his critics today. And he looked them in the eye, many of them didn't look back, and he let them have it. Wait until you see this.

And I'm telling you it's the most important story that no one is talking about, at least not enough. The people in charge of protecting the U.S. border are crying out for help. The President was at a rally making it all about bad hombres and blaming others.

We have a reporter on the Border with the reality. Please watch, ahead.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TEXT: CUOMO PRIME TIME.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[21:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TEXT: LET'S GET AFTER IT.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: There is a crisis at the Southern border. But it is not the one that POTUS has been selling you. He sells you the Brown Menace.

He was doing it tonight again at his rally, "Smugglers and rapists, and nobody's helping, and I'll close the damn Border." The reality is it's a crush of women and children. And he knew they were coming. He's been told for months.

He signed an emergency that mentioned the problem, but then put resources disproportionately at best into a wall. And that was not what they needed to deal with what they were worried about.

And now, here they are, the men and women who keep us safe have their backs up against that wall, literally and figuratively, unprecedented numbers of people coming, uniquely vulnerable with unique needs, and a lack of federal resources to deal with it. It is a recipe for tragedy, according to the people in charge.

Ed Lavandera is in McAllen, Texas, one of the places that they're worried about being exposed to this new phenomenon of who's coming across and in what numbers. Ed, thank you for making time for us today. We know you're busy shooting down there.

First question, is the dire representations that we're getting from the people in charge, do they match up with what you're seeing on the ground?

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes.

I think the numbers that we're hearing from Administration officials and the Department of Home - Homeland Security and Customs and Border Protection, I think there's no question that they're seeing numbers at levels that they have not experienced in quite some time, and that processing centers are full.

And because of that, Customs and Border Protection officials say they're having to start releasing families, migrant families, specifically, probably sooner than - than they had - they had wanted to. And - and that is definitely something we're seeing down here.

CUOMO: All right, and in terms of what you're seeing now, let's deal with who you're seeing. What is the bad hombre factor versus what they're telling us they're worried about, which are vulnerable populations of frail, of children, of families?

LAVANDERA: You know, this is the - the - the question that I get asked repeatedly, and I've spent some 20 years traveling the Southern border, reporting from here, interviewing migrants in shelters. I've seen how this migrant patterns have evolved, the different types of migrants that you see. This is a very unique time where you're very - you're very much seeing parents coming by themselves with their children.

In - in many ways, the word has gotten out in Central America that crossing the Border with a child right now is a safer way to go. There's a bunch of reasons and complicated reasons for all of that.

But, you know, this idea that these are criminals, they're rapists, and they're drug dealers, and that sort of thing just simply does not match up with anything that I have seen for months and months reporting down here in - in the Border.

In fact, today, I was struck by how many women with their children who had come, and you just simply ask them the question, "Why are you coming?" and they immediately break down into tears.

We spoke with one woman who said she had come with her 17-year old daughter because two months ago, she was beaten up by three police officers in Honduras, and that gangs killed her own mother a - a year ago.

And so, she felt like she - this was the only option she had to get away from that. These are the stories that we hear over and over and over again. That's not to say that there isn't a criminal from time to time--

CUOMO: Sure.

LAVANDERA: --that is caught up in - in all of this. I'm not going to sugarcoat it like that. But it is by far the minority compared to what we see over and over again.

CUOMO: All right, Ed, I appreciate it. I know you've been working round the clock, but it matters, and I know that's what fuels you and fuels your team. Thank you very much. I appreciate it.

Let me know--

LAVANDERA: Right.

[21:20:00] CUOMO: --what you find. We'll come back. Thank you very much.

All right, now - and something for you to keep in mind, when he says they are releasing them sooner than they want to, you know, what he's referring to?

Remember zero tolerance? "No more catch and release," said this President. On his watch, they're doing it in ways they've never done it before. That's how overwhelmed they are.

Even with the edict of zero tolerance, you have ICE and CBP and the other parts of the agencies releasing people. They don't have ankle - ankle bracelets to monitor. They don't have enough. They're giving them notices to appear that aren't even filled out. They're TBD. That's how overwhelmed they are. So, the policy he put in place, he has undermined by not giving them the resources they need. That's the reality, OK?

Now, this President has mastered manipulating reality in more ways than one. He has absolved himself of all wrongdoing, not just on the Border, but in anything that has to do with Mueller's probe even before it's out.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: The Democrats have to now decide whether they will continue defrauding the public with ridiculous bull (BEEP).

(CROWD CHEERING YES)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: I want to see that ridiculous BS. I want to see it. Why does he say it's ridiculous?

300-plus pages, the guidelines call for a summary that's confidential just to the A.G. Why did Mueller put together 300 pages? What's in there? Shouldn't you know? You paid for it.

Let's put it up to a great debate, next.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TEXT: CUOMO PRIME TIME.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TEXT: LET'S GET AFTER IT.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: Republicans want Democrat Adam Schiff to step down. Instead, today, he stepped it up. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ADAM SCHIFF, (D) U.S. REPRESENTATIVE FOR CALIFORNIA'S 28TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT, HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: My colleagues may think it's OK that the Russians offered dirt on a Democratic candidate for President as part of what was described as the Russian government's effort to help the Trump campaign.

But I don't think it's OK. I think it's immoral. I think it's unethical. I think it's unpatriotic. And yes, I think it's corrupt and evidence of collusion. But I do not think that conduct, criminal or not, is OK. And the day we do think that's OK is the day we will look back and say, that is the day America lost its way.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: Now, here's the big problem.

They're arguing over something other than criminality on a very specific band, whether or not anybody helped with Russian interference, and we don't know anything, all right?

[21:25:00] We just found out today this isn't some little thin thing that Mueller sent over to the A.G., so it was easy to summarize in four pages. It's more than 300 pages long.

How can a President who hasn't seen the report, who doesn't know anything about what's in it, claim to be completely vindicated, just because he's not going to be pursued for a felony? Come on!

That is the start of our Great Debate tonight with Jennifer Granholm and Rick Santorum.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TEXT: THE GREAT DEBATE.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: I saw Rick in the elevator or in the hallway on the day this came out, and we were going back and forth about whether or not this had been handled right, by the Left and the Right, and I think there's room in there for criticism. I'm fine with that.

Both of you have heard me go on much too long about how I don't see the criminality, I don't think this ends the Presidency, but it doesn't end the analysis either.

Rick, isn't the easy answer, "Let the report come out. Go to the Judge. Find out what Grand Jury testimony they're worried about having come out, redact it, but let it come out, so the intrigue ends?"

RICHARD JOHN SANTORUM, (R) FORMER UNITED STATES SENATOR FROM PENNSYLVANIA, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, ATTORNEY, AUTHOR: Yes.

Well, look, the first - first thing is that everyone's for the report coming out. The President's for the report coming out. I don't know of a Republican who doesn't want to see the report come out.

But we want to make sure that it's - that it's handled properly. And the I - and, you know, hearing Nancy Pelosi and - and - and others talk about how this, you know, it's an outrage that it's taking this long.

It's a huge report. There's a lot of information in there that could be very sensitive. It's a Grand Jury information and the like. And it takes time for - for - for the legal analysis to make sure that it's done correctly.

It will come out, in plenty of time, way before the election for everyone to be able to take a look at, so this outrage is just - is another overblown reaction to - to - to - to Mueller.

The second thing is that everybody for the last, what, a year and a half has been saying, "Wait till the report comes out. Wait till the report comes out."

Well, finally, we get an analysis report, and it doesn't say what everybody is saying that was going to be in the report. And now, they're saying, "Well--

CUOMO: How do you know?

SANTORUM: --still wait for the report to come out."

CUOMO: How do you know?

SANTORUM: You know, I - I don't think that - that Attorney General Barr is going to issue a summary like that if there was some smoking gun sitting there--

CUOMO: No, no, no, no, no, not smoking gun.

SANTORUM: --for--

CUOMO: I - again, you know how I feel about this. But for the audience's edification, there - it's not about a smoking gun. It's not about whether or not he's simply a felon.

It's about who did what that was wrong, and what did he know about, and why did they lie about it, and what does that instruct us to in terms of how we make ourselves safer going forward?

That's the standard.

SANTORUM: Keep - keep - keep speculating without any evidence, and that's what - that's all this has been.

CUOMO: Where's the - where's the speculation in that?

SANTORUM: And I think the American public is tired of it.

CUOMO: Where's it - listen, bring - to bring you in Jennifer, how am I speculating when we know as a matter of fact--

JENNIFER GRANHOLM, (D) FORMER MICHIGAN GOVERNOR, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes.

CUOMO: --repeated by the A.G. from the direct language of Mueller that he couldn't make a call on obstruction.

GRANHOLM: Right.

CUOMO: That has to mean that there was enough proof on each side of the ledger that he didn't know what to do, so he gave it back to the A.G. How is that speculation?

GRANHOLM: No, I don't think it - well, I mean it's only speculation because we haven't seen the darn report. But the words that you describe in the Barr report, of course, are just as you've said.

But this, I mean your whole point about "We paid for it. We should see it," that is so true. We don't want anything that has some sort of, you know, Grand Jury testimony that would compromise an individual or sources and methods.

But as you say, you can take it to the court, or you can give it confidentially to Congress. I mean they look at confidential--

SANTORUM: Hah.

GRANHOLM: --information all the time.

SANTORUM: That's a good one.

GRANHOLM: I mean they do. Well, they do, Rick.

SANTORUM: And it's leaked all the time.

GRANHOLM: I mean they - they - well, it - but - but they understand the importance of not revealing stuff that compromises the United States or individuals. The pot - the bottom line is this is--

SANTORUM: Unfortunately they don't, a lot of them.

GRANHOLM: But well I mean I - I don't disagree that it's - it's obvious to mistrust the - the Congress is kind of an easy thing. But - but, Rick, you were saying, you know, "What are we speculating? Every Republican wants this out."

Every Republican doesn't want this out. Mitch McConnell continues to block this.

CUOMO: Well in the House they voted 420 to zero.

GRANHOLM: Lindsey Graham continues to block it.

CUOMO: He's referring to the House vote.

SANTORUM: Yes--

GRANHOLM: Exactly.

CUOMO: McConnell's waiting on the President's cue. But the--

GRANHOLM: No, no, that is true.

SANTORUM: McConnell doesn't want to vote. It's not a - Mitch McConnell wants to see the report just like everybody else in its proper form.

GRANHOLM: Well, I hope you're right.

CUOMO: Yes, the proper form winds up being a little speculative.

GRANHOLM: I hope it comes out.

CUOMO: But, Jennifer, look, here's the rub on both sides. The Democrats handed the Republicans a cudgel, and they're using it on you now.

There was an excitement and about a set of expectations, OK? I get my butt whooped on a nightly basis by Maddow.

She was out there on what this was. "Wait until we see the blocked numbers. Wait until we see the blocked numbers. Wait until the report comes out. Wait until it shows the message (ph) of the money."

Now, some of that, we don't know the answers to yet. And she has a good team and they do good scrubbing. But there were expectations set up by people on the Left that weren't met.

GRANHOLM: Yes, sure.

CUOMO: There is no criminality. Do you guys have to be careful about what you said as an expectation?

GRANHOLM: No. There is no doubt about that.

[21:30:00] But I encourage people to go and watch that Adam Schiff clip, because he lists in it 18 specific pieces of evidence that are out there in the public that lend credence to the notion that there was some evidence, maybe not beyond a reasonable doubt, maybe not 90 percent, but there was some evidence, obviously, of collusion, and there's a lot of unanswered questions.

But, and this I will agree with Rick Santorum on, I think everybody is tired of talking about Russia. I think people want to talk about what's important to them, which is healthcare.

You had just before this, on Anderson, you had a focus group talking about--

CUOMO: Right.

GRANHOLM: --what they care about. They care about the economy.

CUOMO: Healthcare works.

GRANHOLM: And they care about healthcare. And in this moment where Donald Trump is taking a victory lap, he has poured gasoline on and lit himself on fire on healthcare.

CUOMO: I don't know that.

GRANHOLM: But people want to know.

CUOMO: I don't - I don't know that, Jennifer.

GRANHOLM: Well-- CUOMO: I don't see it. Here's why. Let's say they go the legal route, and he wins, OK?

And I don't see that happening. I have to be honest. And I've been doing my homework on it for the last like 72 hours. The Supreme Court made some pretty close-ended decisions.

But let's say he's right and they win. Let's say he gets lucky, OK?

GRANHOLM: Are you talking about on healthcare now?

CUOMO: Yes, yes, yes.

SANTORUM: Yes.

GRANHOLM: What are you talking about?

CUOMO: Let's say - let's say he gets lucky.

GRANHOLM: Yes.

CUOMO: And they say, "The ACA is unconstitutional after all."

I don't know how he gets to that point, but let's say he does. He wins because that's all his party has been asking for is to get rid of it. They never had a replacement. They never worked with the Democrats on a replacement.

SANTORUM: Oh.

GRANHOLM: Well so, how is that--

CUOMO: They'll say they had a vote.

SANTORUM: Well--

CUOMO: But, look, Rick, you can shake your head. When you read that legislation that McCain scuttled with his vote, they did not have something that would replace the ACA.

SANTORUM: I agree. Subsequent--

CUOMO: It was a stopgap.

SANTORUM: --subsequent to that they did, and - and they do now. And I've been working on it with the White House.

CUOMO: Well that's not what they're saying

SANTORUM: So--

CUOMO: Then how come they're telling him, "Go slow, go slow, go slow, we're not ready?"

SANTORUM: Look. There's a plan that's in the works. It's - it's in the President's budget that that the - the nub of it is, which is to take the money that's --that's in the Medicaid expansion, and the - and in the tax credits, and in Obamacare, take that money--

CUOMO: Yes.

SANTORUM: --all of it--

CUOMO: Yes.

SANTORUM: --and get it out to the states. And - and give--

CUOMO: Yes. And then what happens?

SANTORUM: Well, and give the - and - and - and - and, in fact, the - the legislation that we're working on--

CUOMO: Yes.

SANTORUM: --requires them to spend a - a 15 percent of that to actually pay for people with chronic illnesses.

GRANHOLM: Rick.

SANTORUM: People with pre-existing conditions.

CUOMO: But not enough. And you know it's not enough.

SANTORUM: No, actually, actually--

GRANHOLM: You were working on this when they had control, Rick.

SANTORUM: --with respect to insurance purse (ph), it is enough to do that. It will lower rates, and will take care--

GRANHOLM: You were working on--

SANTORUM: --of the most chronically ill.

CUOMO: No.

GRANHOLM: OK. First of all--

SANTORUM: Yes. It does. We've actually run the numbers.

GRANHOLM: --the President put out a budget - the President--

CUOMO: You're saying - no, hold on a second. Hold - Jennifer, just let me make this.

GRANHOLM: Whoa, whoa, whoa. The President put--

CUOMO: And then you get the last word.

GRANHOLM: OK.

CUOMO: I'll give it to you. Believe me, you'll finish. Here's what I'm saying because the facts - facts matter. It's the mandate of this show. I know the way they calculated it. I have people who are in the

business of scrubbing the numbers for the private sector, OK? So the - so, Republicans will say they must know what they're doing. They work in the private sector.

You're defining it in the most limited way you can that will certainly expose people that the companies will be able to exploit, and not give policies to. There's not enough money put aside for it.

Now, you could put more. But what you've done isn't right. That's--

SANTORUM: We're talk - well we're talking about using the same amount--

CUOMO: --that's the fact you understand.

SANTORUM: --of money that's currently--

GRANHOLM: So--

SANTORUM: --being spent over the ACA.

CUOMO: All right, final word--

GRANHOLM: No.

CUOMO: --to you, Jennifer.

GRANHOLM: Well that's the - that's the problem is that the President's budget cuts $1.5 trillion out of Medicaid, and $800 million out of Medicare and, by the way, cut Social Security too, and you cannot do it.

With that level of cuts, you are cutting people off of healthcare. You're cutting - you're cutting children who are on their parents off of healthcare, you're cutting people with pre-existing conditions off of healthcare.

That is not what America is going to want. I'm telling you, this is an issue that we - we want on in 2018 - I mean 2018, we're going to win on in 2020.

CUOMO: Well here's--

SANTORUM: Well one final - give me like one final point, Chris.

CUOMO: Go ahead, go ahead, please, please, please.

SANTORUM: And that is that that this - the Center for Health and the Economy, which is a bi - nonpartisan organization that scores things like the Congressional - like the Congressional Budget Office does in Congress, they looked at this proposal, and said that it would reduce premiums and cost by a third, and would maintain the same coverage that's under the current Obamacare.

So, it will work. CUOMO: But not for the same number of people. And that's OK.

GRANHOLM: Not for the same number.

SANTORUM: Yes, it will. It's the same coverage.

CUOMO: This is - this is a good debate to have because we're going to see what the ideas are, we'll put them out, and it's got to be chewed on. Disagreement, but with decency, that's what the American people need.

SANTORUM: Look forward to the debate.

CUOMO: It's the best prescription of all. Rick, thank you.

GRANHOLM: All right.

CUOMO: Jennifer, I told you you'd get the last word, at least where I'm involved.

GRANHOLM: All right--

CUOMO: Take care.

GRANHOLM: --almost. Thanks.

CUOMO: All right, look, you got to - don't let - don't let perfection be the enemy of progress.

All right, so, why did Senators call the President's son-in-law back to the Hill again today as part of their Russia investigation? What do they want to know? What are the legitimate questions to be asking Mr. Kushner?

Now, this is something that very few know about. But we've got a guest who's got her thumb on the pulse. She wrote the book on him that is rocketed to the top of the bestseller lists. She has a scoop for you, next.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TEXT: CUOMO PRIME TIME.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[21:35:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TEXT: LET'S GET AFTER IT.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: All right, here's the headline we need to get beyond it. The headline is a second interview before the Senate Intel Committee for Mr. Jared Kushner. You may recall, he is the President's main player, certainly one of the top two, in the Middle East.

So, what did they want with him there? What did he say? What do they may be looking to learn, OK?

Let's get after it with Vicky Ward, the Author of Kushner, Inc., a new book focused on Kushner, as well as the President's daughter Ivanka, and their influence in this Administration.

I have the book here. It's rocketing up the bestseller list, as you see with all the big shot books, sign here, so I can sell it someday--

VICKY WARD, AUTHOR, "KUSHNER, INC.": Absolutely.

CUOMO: --on your back. All right, so let's - let's see what you can tell me about the intrigue

WARD: Right.

CUOMO: Security clearances.

WARD: Yes.

CUOMO: The supposition is this, and you rebut the argument.

WARD: Right.

CUOMO: There is no issue. They don't like this guy. He's financially sophisticated. They don't know how to process the forms.

WARD: OK. Stop, stop, stop, stop, I'm rebutting. I'm rebutting.

CUOMO: There's too much there. So the President said, "Let him just have it." That's all there is to it. He did nothing wrong.

What's your suspicion?

WARD: OK. So, Rex Tillerson, former Secretary of State thought that Jared Kushner went from being really annoying to downright dangerous--

CUOMO: Personality conflict or more?

WARD: No, no, no, far more.

Jared took the whole Middle East portfolio from Rex Tillerson very, very early on. And Jared was the one pushing for the first - U.S. first official visit to be to Riyadh, very strange place to go, not a country we share democratic values with.

The - the theme of that Summit was all about cooperation in the Gulf. The Saudis turn around and make a mockery of it 10 days later, because they blockade Qatar with whom they've had a long feud.

Qatar has Al Jazeera, the closest thing to a free press in the region. It has an American air base. That is our security. Rex Tillerson, James Mattis, Defense Secretary knew nothing about any of this, were horrified. They knew that because Jared Kushner controlled the relationship with the Saudis and the Emiratis behind this blockade that he had given the green light from the White House.

CUOMO: Hold on. So, hold--

WARD: So--

CUOMO: --hold on. Help me with two things. One, what do you know about how they would know that? And two, why would Kushner want to do that?

WARD: So, right, so the theme of the book is that basically the Middle East is a casino, in which Jared Kushner runs around as - as sort of for his private financial interests. Hear me out.

What Rex Tillerson and James Mattis certainly didn't know, none of us knew back then was that at the end of April, Charles Kushner, Jared's father, desperately needing investment into a money pit, this building in New York, 666 Fifth Avenue, meets with the Qatari Finance Minister.

[21:40:00] I have spoken to someone in that meeting. The Qataris turned the Kushners down because it was a bad investment.

Jared Kushner, and here's the breaking news, Chris, went to Doha before the Saudi Summit, and he reamed the Qataris, reamed them for not doing this private business deal.

The next thing that happens, the Qataris are made to feel very unwelcome at that Summit in Saudi Arabia. The day of the blockade, I have very strong sources saying the Saudi and the Emirati troops were on the Qatari border.

CUOMO: Because Jared Kushner wanted them to be.

WARD: And wait. So, nine months later, this is only the beginning, then nine months later, as I say in the book, what happens?

A Canadian firm who's largest investor is Qatar bails out 666 Fifth Avenue, this building in a deal that makes no financial sense. Nobody does a 99-year lease, paid up front. You don't have to be in real estate to understand that that is not an economic deal.

The Qataris felt under threat from Jared Kushner.

CUOMO: So, this is very heavy stuff. So, the suggestion would be that they turned down the deal because they thought it was just about business.

Then, the Saudis show up on their doorstep, and they realize it's about more than business. Then they decide to give the money, which you're saying is almost like a blood money payment.

This is a heavy set of allegations. Do you believe you can back it up with proof?

WARD: I do. CUOMO: How so?

WARD: Well, I have--

CUOMO: What kind of proof would you be looking to marshall?

WARD: Well, I think, well - well stand by. There is documentary proof.

CUOMO: OK. Because that's going to be key.

WARD: Yes, that is.

CUOMO: Because as we all have been playing out here, the land of allegations--

WARD: Yes.

CUOMO: --it's all about--

WARD: Absolute - absolutely.

CUOMO: --we only know what you can show.

WARD: We only - yes, but - but - but - but I did call my sources in the State Department who have absolutely confirmed that the troops were on the Border.

CUOMO: Right. And the question is why were they there?

WARD: Why were they there?

We also learned today Chris, as you know, that there have been secret negotiations about sharing nuclear - nuclear technology with the Saudi Arabia - with Saudi Arabia.

We know. Look at what happened. The House Intel Committee has asked for documentation to understand what on earth went on with Jared's last visit to Saudi Arabia. Nobody knows.

If you read the letter, nobody even knows what hotel he stayed at, let alone who he talked with. This is diplomacy in the dark by someone who no security agency think should have a security clearance because he is - he's got financial issues.

CUOMO: So, you don't think that it was what is pitched to us by the White House, which is his background is sophisticated in a way, his holdings, his dealings that they're not used to seeing with people that they vet, who go into public service, and that's why he had to keep revising it.

And it confused the process, and that's why they were holding it up. It was bureaucratic. It wasn't because of any legitimate concerns.

WARD: Look, Jared Kushner, I report in my book, he pushed for James Comey to be fired in the - the first spring of the Administration. Why? Because he had left all the meetings with the - the Russians and

everybody else, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, some Qataris, the Chinese, he left them all off his security clearance forms. That is a felony.

And he knew the press had got wind of it. And - and that James Comey was leading an investigation into collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.

He, in public, in front of the White House colleagues who completely disagreed with him, he said to the President, "Please fire James Comey. The Democrats don't like Comey. The FBI doesn't like Comey. And the base will love it."

And that was not reported. Why was Jared Kushner so keen to see James Comey go?

CUOMO: So, you're saying that what we just saw with Mueller, that's about Russia.

WARD: Right.

CUOMO: And the fact that you don't see Mr. Kushner mentioned in that doesn't give you any comfort because you're saying that's not the part of the world he needs to worry about.

WARD: No. That's a big distraction. My book is all about the Middle East and the threads that take us back again and again and again to the Kushner Trophy building, the troubled building that no American investor would touch with a 50-foot pole.

The - the crucial thing to remember is that Jared Kushner entered this Administration with an albatross around his neck, an absolute albatross, and he--

CUOMO: You mean having to get funding for that because it was killing the portfolio.

WARD: With this building and it - and - and - and you know what? It's a family investment.

This is the business he is going to inherit and lead. There is no way he can wall himself off from it. And that is why no security experts thought he should have a security clearance. And the President had to lie for him.

CUOMO: Did his wife know what he was doing to advance the fortunes of 666 Fifth Avenue?

WARD: Well I show in my book very clearly that Ivanka and Jared's, you know, finances are tied together to a certain degree. They are peas in a pod. They are very light-minded (ph). They think they can message their way out of anything.

But you know what, Chris? The Senate Intelligence didn't interview him today because he was getting a White House Employee of the Month Award, OK? The House Intelligence Committee is not asking him for documents because he's so sophisticated.

You know, there - there should be accountability. I hope it lies ahead.

[21:45:00] CUOMO: Well, listen, as I said again, you know, the coda is we know what you can show. You're welcome on this show--

WARD: Yes, thank you.

CUOMO: --to advance our understanding at any point. Good luck with the book, and thank you for sharing its success with us.

WARD: Thank you.

CUOMO: Appreciate it.

WARD: Thank you.

CUOMO: All right, listen, nothing ruins a trip like a canceled flight. We all know that. This is a turn. But it turns us back into something that is a growing concern for so much of us, all right?

We're getting more and more worried about air travel for good and bad reason. But how about this? One minute, your flight's canceled. The next minute, the entire carrier is gone.

A story that lives up to the name of the airline it just is a Wow story, next.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TEXT: CUOMO PRIME TIME.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TEXT: LET'S GET AFTER IT.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: We hear about this story about WOW airlines. Thank God, it's not about a catastrophe. But, you know, people didn't lose their lives. But they sure did lose a lot of their time, people on both sides of the Atlantic, you know, they're just really upset.

This Icelandic budget carrier, WOW air shut down with no warning. More than a thousand passengers were at airports thinking they were about to board, there was a delay in the flight, and all of a sudden, nothing happened.

D. Lemon, to say that WOW did not handle this well is a gross understatement. What's your take?

[21:50:00] DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR, CNN TONIGHT WITH DON LEMON: You know what my - I'm going to say Wow!

CUOMO: Well done, well done.

LEMON: I mean, come on, that was so obvious. You knew I was going to do that. Yes, they didn't handle it well. But do you know Mitch in the makeup room? He said he--

CUOMO: I do. Michelangelo, I call him.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: He's such an artiste because of what he does to you (ph).

LEMON: Because he's - he dusted (ph) this, all right?

CUOMO: Yes.

LEMON: I'm 70. He makes me look like this.

So, he says that he flew WOW to Paris last year, 300 and some bucks, round-trip. He said it was fantastic. He loved it. I don't know how you make money flying people to Europe and back for $300, and some odd dollars.

CUOMO: Obviously, you don't.

LEMON: It's - exactly. So, I feel bad for the folks.

But I mean the airline industry is a tough industry. And if you - you're going to fly WOW airlines at, you know, I would - in the back of my head I would think something me not being--

CUOMO: I'll tell you what. Here's my little sneaking concern about--

LEMON: --above board.

CUOMO: --as we learn more about how this went down, and we will. You know, people - money's tight, man.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: You know, people want to travel. They want to live their best life.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: Money's tight. They're seeking advantage. These airlines are one way to get it. But who's watching them? Who's making sure that they have the reserves? You know, that's what that 737 situation is to me.

LEMON: You took the words out of my mouth.

CUOMO: We put a lot of faith in these airlines to do the right thing. You know, regulation exists for a reason.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: Oversight exists for a reason. It's easy to say cut regulations, business hates them. Yet--

LEMON: That's what's happening now.

CUOMO: --sometimes they hate them for wrong reasons.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: We'll see.

LEMON: Well but the - the right - that's the right reasons that we have regulations for.

Listen, I feel - I feel bad for those people. But they're stuck. But in a way, they're not out of a lot of money. They didn't spend thousands and thousands of dollars--

CUOMO: True.

LEMON: --to go to Europe and Iceland and all that.

CUOMO: True.

LEMON: It's - so it's terrible for them. But I mean look at the bright side.

And another person I - speaking of the bright side, you know Rob Goldstone, you know that wrote the letters--

CUOMO: Sure.

LEMON: --for that in - infamous. He's on tonight. And I got his book. He wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post. He's going to tell me how he's doing after the Mueller report is out, if he still lives in fear.

And also, we've been talking about Jussie Smollett in Chicago. Everyone says, "We need to hear from those brothers." Even you said that, right?

CUOMO: Right.

LEMON: Their attorney's on tonight.

CUOMO: Oh!

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: Good get.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: Going to have to stay up late again with D. Lemon.

LEMON: See you in a bit. CUOMO: Great job last night. I'll see you in a second.

LEMON: Thank you, Sir.

CUOMO: All right, listen, I can't say it to you enough different ways, and the truth just gets more and more revealing. The Border is in crisis.

It's not the one that the President has been telling you about, and his threat now to shut it down is ridiculous. Why didn't he address this? Why isn't anybody talking about this?

The reality behind the pictures that I'm about to show you, next.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TEXT: CUOMO PRIME TIME.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TEXT: CLOSING ARGUMENT.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[21:55:00] CUOMO: No one in government should be surprised at the catastrophe that is happening on the Border, the story that isn't getting talked about enough.

Listen, he was told, a wall - OK. It'll help us in places. But they came to Congress. They came and told the President we have a different set of needs to deal with what is coming.

The President chose to focus on what he thought helped him politically, selling fear, and a quick fix over caring for tiny faces like the ones we're going to show you during this closing.

The President knew months ago. What's the proof? Here's the CBP Commissioner, months ago.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KEVIN MCALEENAN, U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION COMMISSIONER: From the experience of our agents and officers on the ground, it is indeed both a Border security and a humanitarian crisis.

Now, the majority crossing are family units and unaccompanied children.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: All right, like what? Asylum rules, accommodations, manpower, Judges, medical and transport, all right? What was delivered on was mainly the wall.

If you look at the declaration of emergency, the President talks about these problems because somebody else wrote it, right? But all of it was geared toward just getting the wall built. It's out of proportion, the wall versus all the other needs.

So now the President has to find something else. He doubles down on blame and Brown Menace at a rally tonight even though he knows it's not the reality. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: They want to set violent offenders free. And directly, they will be coming into your communities, we're not going to have it, we're not having it. We want our country to be a sanctuary for law- abiding Americans, not for criminal aliens.

(CROWD CHEERING)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUOMO: He is they. They want to release. No, this is your ICE. This is your CBP. They don't want to release anybody. They have to. You put them in this position. "Wall! Wall! Wall! The wall is all." It never was.

Now, they are forced, forced to round people up, many of them are coming and presenting themselves. They're not sneaking across the way you would have people worry like they were a bunch of rats.

They're coming with their kids and saying, "Take us." They're releasing them because they have nowhere to hold them. And these men and women, unlike our Republican, and yes, even Democrat and certainly Presidential people, they lead with their heart on this.

(CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION VIDEO)

They see their mission as humanitarian first. They're letting them go because they're afraid of what will happen if they keep forcing them into crowded places like I was just showing you there.

My face is irrelevant. Show the kids and the places as much as possible during this. That's what matters, OK?

The false emphasis on just the physical barriers, were a mistake, and we're paying for it right now. And it happened under this President's watch. Catch and release is happening like never before out of need.

(BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS VIDEO)

Not they. They is him, OK? They don't have the bracelets to put on their ankles and monitor them. They're being let back into the country. Not only that, they're being given blank notices of appearance, TBD, To Be Determined.

Why? They're overwhelmed. The President knew this was going to happen. Now, is this behavior by our President a crime? Of course not. But is it OK? Of course not.

That's the point about all analysis about him. He's not a felon. He didn't help the Russians interfere. Whoopee! Great! It doesn't mean he did nothing wrong, and he didn't lie about the same, just like he's doing tonight.

He's lying to you. We won't have it be a sanctuary for illegal people. They're kids, and they're families, and they're presenting themselves at the ports of entry.

"I'll close the Border." So, what's that going to do? "Mexico is the problem." Your own Secretary of D - of Homeland Security said, "The Mexicans are helping. They're great partners. Thank for them, they're offering people help."

She contradicted what you said tonight because you're not telling the truth. Just because you beat a felony rap doesn't mean you can run roughshod over what should matter for this country.

That's the reality on the Border. We're going to keep talking about it because it matters. I hope they're wrong. I hope they're wrong about how bad it's going to be because you can't care once you have a body count. It's too late.

Thank you for watching. CNN Tonight With D. Lemon starts right now.